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Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk LIVE: AJ and Usyk meet at press conference, Marku tackled by security – latest updates

IT'S been a long wait – but Anthony Joshua is finally back in the ring on Saturday.

Pumped-up AJ returns to a full house at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, taking on feared Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk in a potential classic in the capital.

Usyk and his team have touched down in the UK and the countdown is well and truly on to Saturday's showdown.

  • Weigh in: Friday, September 24 @ 2.30pm
  • Fight date: Saturday, September 25
  • UK start time: Estimated to be around 10.30pm

Follow ALL the latest build-up and updates with our live blog below…

BETTING SPECIAL – GET JOSHUA TO WIN IN ROUNDS 1-6 AT 60/1 OR ANYTIME AT 25/1

  • Ian Tuckey

    BELLEW: BEWARE USYK 'TRAPS'

    Tony Bellew has warned Anthony Joshua that Oleksandr Usyk is a ‘freak.’

    Usyk knocked Bellew out in Manchester in 2018, something the former fighter has not forgotten.

    Bellew said: “He hits enough to get your respect, it’s not like you’re just going to walk through him.

    “It’s not going to be that easy and he also sets traps that don’t allow you to do that. But you can hit his body and tire him as well.

    “You’ve got to make him engage mentally; he is so far ahead of everyone mentally in the game, he doesn’t tire.

    “I was amazed! I thought what I was doing to him in the fight was making him miss and then countering him, and I expected him to tire.

    “And the freak didn’t tire, he just kept getting stronger and stronger. Mate, he is unbelievable, I can’t emphasise enough how good he is.”

  • Giacomo Pisa

    'I AM NOT AN EASY TOUCH FOR ANYONE'

    Here's another recap of what AJ said a minute ago.

    He revealed: "Like a dog or a baby I have been praised when I have done well and that makes me want to do more.

    "I practice and spar a lot so you are coming out to see me hit a live bodybag.

    "100 per cent the last place I would want to be is facing myself.

    "I am not an easy touch for anyone.

    "I am here for a reason, I would not have got here so quickly without it."

  • Giacomo Pisa

    NOTHING BUT RESPECT

    There was an air of respect between the two fighters.

    And they were both quick to praise each other on their ability on what they have achieved.

    Getty Images
  • Giacomo Pisa

    STAREDOWN

    Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk face off before sharing a handshake.

  • Giacomo Pisa

    WILL IT GO TWELVE ROUNDS?

    Usyk says: "Nobody knows that.

    "Only god knows what the outcome will be."

    Talk about not giving much away.

  • Giacomo Pisa

    POWER DIFFERENCE

    Usyk also comments on whether his inferior size will be a factor.

    He says: "We'll see on Saturday what happens.

    "Because the power is not in the fact if somebody is big or small, it's in your spirit.

    "David was three times lighter than Goliath and that shows that it doesn't matter."

  • Giacomo Pisa

    USYK INTERVIEW

    Oleksandr is now speaking to Sky Sports about his 'Joker' outfit.

    He says: "Before the fight it's all about [putting on a] show.

    "People want to see [a] show, and that's when you do these things.

    "But when you go to the ring and you fight, it's just two guys having a fight."

  • Giacomo Pisa

    RECAP

    Here's a recap of what AJ said at the start of the press conference.

    Speaking about the beginning of his career, AJ said: "When I started boxing it was fun, because I was absolutely s*** when I started.

    "I'm still getting better, but I like the challenges because I'll train, come back three months later [and] I'll beat the guys up that where giving me problems.

    "I would fight, if I lost, I'd come back again.

    "So this fight gives me the opportunity to practice."

  • Giacomo Pisa

    HEAD TO HEAD

    AJ shows off some shadow boxing as the photographers take their place for the face off.

    Usyk looks so unbothered, in fact it looks like he's playing with a pen.

    Both men crack the slightest of smiles as they face off, before both faces return to almost steel like expressions.

    Suddenly it's got very tense!

    Then there's a nod from AJ as the pair break and they exchange a hand shake.

  • Giacomo Pisa

    CLOSING STATEMENT

    Eddie Hearn finishes by saying: "It doesn't get any bigger than this.

    "Do not miss it."

    Now the pair will go head to head!

  • Giacomo Pisa

    MORE FROM AJ

    Joshua says: "I'm not an easy fight for anyone.

    "I like fighting.

    "God has blessed me, he showed me the path to get in boxing."

    "I don't want to say too much, I'm here, I'm blessed, I'm happy and I appreciate everyone coming down."

  • Giacomo Pisa

    PLAYING IT COOL

    Joshua vows: "If you told me I was fighting King Kong I'd give it a go."

    "It's my job, it's his job."

  • Giacomo Pisa

    AJ'S PRAISE

    Joshua heaps praise on Usyk and his past opponents, saying: "The cream always rises to the top.

    "And we're here now, and good luck to them!"

  • Giacomo Pisa

    JUST ANOTHER DAY

    AJ says: "For a fighter like myself, this is just another day in camp.

    "And on Monday or maybe Tuesday I'll be back in the gym."

  • Giacomo Pisa

    AJ'S WORDS

    Now let's hear from AJ!

    After the obligatory thanks, he says: "You gotta want to train you've got to want to put the work in, you've got to want to improve."

    Then he says: "When I started boxing I was absolutely s***

    He goes on to say: "This fight gives me the motivation to practice."

  • Giacomo Pisa

    LAST WORDS

    Usyk finishes by saying: "I think me and Anthony are going to make another step in history.

    "Something that people later will talk about, people will remember."

  • Giacomo Pisa

    THE MAN HIMSELF

    And now we will hear from Usyk.

    He says, through a translator, on whether he is nervous: "I feel fine and I look forward to this."

    He then goes to thank Eddie Hearn, Matchroom and Co.

    Usyk doesn't seem to be in the mood for talking.

  • Giacomo Pisa

    ROB'S WORDS

    Before we hear from the fighters we will now hear from AJ's team.

    Rob McCracken says: "This is as good as it gets in heavyweight boxing."

    He goes on to say: "This is an absolutely brilliant fight in the world of boxing and it's one that we're really looking forward to."

  • Giacomo Pisa

    'YOU HAVE TO DETHRONE THE KING'

    Krassyuk goes on to say: "AJ is the best, he is the king of the division.

    "But if you want to become a king yourself, you have to dethrone the king."

    He then finishes by saying: "We'll see you again for the rematch."

  • Giacomo Pisa

    USYK'S TEAM

    First of all we will hear from Usyk's team.

    Alex Krassyuk says: "The two Olympic champions of London, fighting together again in London.

    "To find out who is the better man."

    He goes on to thank AJ for 'having the heart of a warrior' for having the 'courage' to take on Usyk.

  • Giacomo Pisa

    HEARN ON AJ

    Eddie Hearn challenges anyone to name a heavyweight with a better record of opponents than Anthony Joshua.

    He says: "Show me a resume in the division that can even compare."

  • Giacomo Pisa

    HEARN TALKS IT UP

    Eddie Hearn continues with his obligatory introduction.

    He heaps praise on both fighters, saying: "We have two great pound for pound fighters in front of us here."

    Next up we will hear from the fighter's themselves!

  • Giacomo Pisa

    HEARN'S WORDS

    Eddie Hearn kicks things off with a short speech, and he promises fireworks on Saturday night.

    Hearn says: "We're in for a night we believe we will never ever forget.

    "We cannot wait."

  • Giacomo Pisa

    HERE WE GO!

    Right the fighter's are finally on the stage.

    Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk are sitting either side of Eddie Hearn.

    Here we go!

  • Giacomo Pisa

    USYK'S ATTIRE

    How about that for a suit!

    Oleksandr Usyk has indeed arrived dressed as the 'Joker.'

    The press conference is now running ten minutes late and counting, with the fighter's yet to take to the stage.

    We know Usyk is in the building at least though.

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